Danish Brewer Taps Nation’s Thirst for Beer

Carlsberg, the world’s fifth larg­est beer company, has acquired a 50 percent share in Cambrew Ltd, the brewer of Cambodia’s best- selling Angkor Beer, officials for the Danish company said Tues­day.

The deal was described by Carlsberg’s international spokes­man Jens Peter Skaarup as an important step in the company’s ambitions on Southeast Asian beer markets.

Representatives from Cambrew Ltd’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur could not be reached for comments on Tuesday and local representatives declined to comment.

Carlsberg brews some 9 billion liters of beer a year and already has shares in beer companies in Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia and Sing­apore.

“We have chosen to enter the Cambodian [beer] market be­cause of its great potential,” Ska­arup said by telephone from Co­pen­­hagen, Denmark.

The potential for growth in Cambodian beer sales is one of the biggest in the region, Skaarup said, noting that each Cambodian drinks less than half as much beer per year as consumers in neighboring countries.

“Cambodians only consume six liters of beer a year but in Vietnam and Thailand it is about fifteen [liters],” he said.

Though the company intends to brew Carlsberg Larger in Cambodia, people will have to wait for an as yet undetermined period of time in the future for production to start.

Angkor Beer represents 45 percent of all beer sold on the Cambodian market with a production output of some 450,000 hectoliters of beer per year-amounting to some 45 million liters, according to a Carlsberg press statement.

Situated in Sihanoukville, Cambrew Ltd was founded in 1990 by Malaysian investors and has been brewing Bayon Beer and Black Panther stout, alongside Angkor Beer.

Kang Chandararot of the Cambodia Institute of Development Study said Cambodians will likely quaff more beer and noted that around 80 percent of all money spent in Cambodian restaurants is spent on beer.

“The market could be really big,” he said.

Carlsberg’s strategy will be to strengthen Angkor Beer’s position in Cambodia and then start production of Carlsberg Larger afterwards, Skaarup said.

“We bring a lot of know-how and a very strong brand to the [Angkor Beer] firm. In return they have all the machinery and distribution channels ready”, he said.



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